Cartoonist walks out of jail

Cartoonist walks out of jail

Cartoonist walks out of jail

Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who walked out of the Arthur Road Jail on Wednesday after the Bombay High Court ordered his release on bail, said he will campaign against the “archaic and draconian IPC Section 124 (A).”

Trivedi was picked on Saturday and formally arrested on a charge of sedition. The uproar following his arrest forced the Democratic Front government in Maharashtra to reconsider the sedition charge slapped on the cartoonist, who has also been championing the cause of “free speech and Internet freedom.”

In a meeting held at the Press Club here soon after his release, Trivedi, volleying questions on the sudden change in his stand on accepting bail, said: “ Till this morning, I was not willing to sign the bail bond. But when my activist friends from India Against Corruption (IAC) said the state government has already decided to drop Sec 124 (A)...I signed it.”

Thanking Arvind Kejrwial for his support, the 25-year-old activist said it was time that archaic laws like sedition are dispensed with.

“These kind of draconian laws are used to snuff out protests and circumscribe freedom of expression.” Trivedi also claimed that he never made fun of religious communities or castes through his cartoons. “As for  Babasaheb Ambedkar...I salute the great freedom fighter and thinker...through my cartoons I was trying to say as to how people in Parliament by their acts continue to insult the Constitution.”

Earlier in the day, hundreds of IAC activists, along with general public, gathered outside the 86-year-old Arthur Road Jail to receive Trivedi.

Interestingly, even as key IAC members on Tuesday were holding talks with state Home Minister R R Patil over Trivedi’s release, an independent advocate moved a PIL in the Bombay High Court and secured bail for Trivedi. The PIL contended that the arrest was “Illegal, bad in law and unjustified.”

Bail bond

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar, in their ad-interim order, stated that “if the only charge pertains to cartoon row, then Trivedi should be released on execution of a personal bail bond of Rs 5,000.” The PIL is now slated to be heard on Monday.